Trouble in toyland; hazards that could possibly kill your child

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LA CROSSE (WEAU)- There’s trouble in toyland. A survey finds dangerous and toxic toys have been found on store shelves, and some batteries if swallowed can kill your children.

While safety reforms have improved in markets all around the country there are still dangerous toys that pose safety hazards at our own local toy stores.

Moms all around are getting ready for the holiday season and that means checking for more than just the choking hazard on the packaging.

Wisconsin’s Public Interest Research Group has recently released a report that includes a list of dangerous toys that surveyors have found on shelves.

WISPIRG representative Joe Rasmussen says that there are toys that can pass the cylinder test but can still be dangerous like the play food set he brought along as an example.

“It’s got several near small parts that don’t fit in the cylinder and so it doesn’t have a choking sign on the packaging. But a few of those items can still get lodged in a childs throat,” said Rasmussen.

Parents should be also cautious with what comes with the toys, the batteries. Specifically the coin sized ones can be ingested and the acid can burn a child’s throat from the inside.

“It’s severe in the fact that multiple surgeries need to be occur as well as possible feeding or breathing tubes. What happens is the saliva mixes with the batter causing a chemical reaction,” explained Gundersen Lutheran Trauma Injury Coordinator Kim Lombard.

Lombard said that the Center for Poison Control reported more than 3500 cases in 2010 were reported of children swallowing the batteries.

And it’s not just all about what can go in a child’s mouth. Parents should be considering their child’s hearing as well. It’s suggested that all toys have an audio level under 85 decibels. Parents buying a toy should use their own judgment on if they believe a toy is too loud.

Lead may not be a major concern this year, but another toxin called phthalates are.

“Phthalates are a chemical to make plastic softer that has been linked to reproductive problems and other developmental problems,” said Rasmussen.

But don’t bother searching for phthalates on the label, Wisconsin doesn’t require disclosure on the chemical. The best way to make sure your product is safe is by calling the CPSC.

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